An American expert suggested recognizing Crimea and Donbas as a Russian territory

Ukrainian News
11 January 2022, 15:00
11 January 2022, 15:00

American political scientist Stephen Szabo believes that problems between the West and Russia may be solved by recognition of the occupied areas of Donbas and Crimea as Russian territory.

This was written by Szabo in The National Interest.

The political scientist cites the example of military Austria when in 1955 four allies in the anti-Hitler coalition (the United States, Britain, France, and the Soviet Union) withdrew their troops from the country after fixing in the country's constitution a course of neutrality.

" After World War II, Austria, like Germany, was divided between the Western powers and the Soviet Union.  The Western powers and the Soviet Union agreed to a state treaty in 1955 which resulted in Austria being unified and neutral. It produced the withdrawal of Soviet and Western forces from Austria, the only time the USSR withdrew forces from Europe during the Cold War. Looking at the situation in Ukraine today, why wouldn't a similar solution work?” the author asks.

The political scientist writes The United States and its Western partners could offer the Russian government a proposal that both sides guarantee the neutrality of Ukraine. In return, Russia would also accept Ukrainian statehood and neutrality and withdraw its troops from the Ukrainian border. 

At the same time, the comparison with Austria is inappropriate, as Szabo does not offer to withdraw Russian troops from the Ukrainian territories occupied by Russia. Szabo claims that Donbas, which according to him is already basically lost to Ukraine, can be integrated into Russia within the framework of the agreement; and Crimea will also remain part of Russia.

Russian propaganda media spreads Stephen Szabo's article with headlines saying as if the West is already ready to accept Crimea as Russian.

However, the propagandists do not say a word about Sabo noting that the cost to Russia of an invasion of Ukraine "would be prohibitive and would destroy any prospects for a peaceful European future and raise the danger of a wider war".

The political scientist also notes that Moscow violated the 1994 Budapest Memorandum, which promised Ukrainian sovereignty in return for Kyiv giving up its nuclear arsenal.

"So any agreement must be a treaty, not a memorandum. If Russia were then to violate the treaty the consequences would be more severe," he said.

However, this does not give a reason for respect for the author, if he believes that "Austria joined the EU in 1995, despite the objections of the Soviet Union," because in 1991 the Soviet Union had ceased to exist.